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Tennis

Billie Jean King Cup: India relegated to regional group following loss against Latvia

India’s first ever appearance at a World Group playoffs did not go as planned as they fell to a 1-3 loss in the tie against Latvia at the National Tennis Centre Lielupe in Jurmala.

India Billie Jean King Cup Latvia Sania Mirza Ankita Raina
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Ankita Raina in action against Latvia (Source: Latvian Tennis Union/Kaspars Volonts)

By

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 2021-04-18T12:11:12+05:30

India's first ever appearance at a World Group playoffs did not go as planned as they fell to a 1-3 loss in the tie against Latvia at the National Tennis Centre Lielupe in Jurmala.

The loss means that India has been relegated back to the Asia/Oceania regional zone for the 2022 and will have to compete there to reach the World Group playoffs yet again. Latvia, on the other hand, progressed to the World Group Qualifiers for the next season.

India's exit from the playoffs came after the country's number 1 singles player Ankita Raina fell to her second successive defeat against a much higher ranked opponent Anastasija Sevastova.

Even though Raina did not manage to win a single game in the first set, the Indian tried very hard to force her way back into the game but the World Number 47 Sevastova brought out all her experience to beat her 6-0, 7-5, to deny India even a sniff at the tie.

India's only win came in the tie came in the doubles dead rubber. With the tie already lost, India decided to rest the duo of Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina to give the young pair of Rutuja Bhosale and Zeel Desai a chance.

The duo did not disappoint as they defeated a lower ranked Patricija Spaka and Daniela Visame 6-4, 5-7, 10-2 to earn a consolation win for India.

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